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Ontario Government's Plan Is Building Opportunity, Securing Our Future
Ontario is moving forward with its economic plan to grow the economy and create jobs.  The government is committed to balancing the budget by 2017-18, and will do so in a way that is both fiscally responsible and fair.

Today Finance Minister Charles Sousa presented the 2014 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, which confirms that the Province is working to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18. The government continues to project deficits of $12.5 billion in 2014-15, $8.9 billion in 2015-16 and $5.3 billion in 2016-17, with a return to balance in 2017-18, consistent with the plan outlined in the 2014 Budget. This will improve the fiscal sustainability of the Province and help protect the critical public services that support the well-being of Ontarians. Read more here.
Capitalizing on World Tourism Growth: New Report Recommends Way Forward for Ontario
Ontario wants its fair share of a thriving world tourism economy. According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 5 per cent during the first eight months of 2014, and will continue to increase at an annual rate of 3.3 per cent until 2030. This makes tourism one of the fastest-growing industries globally.

Today, Ontario’s tourism industry calls on government to collaborate in the development of a comprehensive and strategic plan that will map out how Ontario can achieve its fair share of the world’s flourishing tourism market. Read more here.
All Aboard the Union Pearson Express

As of next spring, travellers will have a fast new option for the journey between the airport and downtown Toronto, thanks to the Union Pearson Express, the first transportation service of its kind in North America. Read the entire story here.

Gas Tax Funding Fuels Transit Growth

Ontario is providing $321.5 million in gas tax funding to 96 municipalities this year to help expand and improve public transit.

The Ontario Gas Tax Program helps municipalities increase accessibility, buy more transit vehicles, add more routes and extend hours of service, making it easier for people to use public transit. It will also help ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. Read more here.

Ontario Economy Grows by 37,000 Jobs in October
Ontario's economy continues to grow, gaining 37,000 net new jobs in October, including an increase of 33,700 full-time jobs. The province's youth (ages 15-24) employment increased by 6,300.

With October's gains, employment in Ontario has increased by 551,300 since June 2009 -- 93.1 per cent of which are full-time and 71.3 per cent in the private sector. Ontario's unemployment rate has declined from a recessionary high of 9.4 per cent in June 2009 to 6.5 per cent in October. Read more here.
Smoking to be Prohibited on Patios, Sport Fields and Playgrounds
Ontario Further Protecting Children and Youth from Smoking

Ontario is taking action to protect children and youth from the harmful effects of smoking.

Starting January 1, 2015, it will be illegal to:
• Smoke on bar and restaurant patios
• Smoke on playgrounds and public sports fields and surfaces
• Sell tobacco on university and college campuses.

These changes to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act are part of the government's plan to limit smoking in public places, reduce exposure to smoking and make it more difficult for young people to buy tobacco. Read more here.
Province Passes Legislation to Increase Minimum Wage
Ontario Strengthening Protections for Vulnerable Workers
 
Today, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, passed third reading with all party support in the Ontario legislature.

The new act supports Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy, and is designed to further increase protections for vulnerable workers. Read more here.
Seneca's 13th Annual Hospitality & Tourism Career Fair
Career Expo 2015

Register now for Seneca’s 13th Annual Hospitality and Tourism Career Expo. This event, run exclusively by Seneca’s School of Tourism, encourages students and employers to make meaningful industry connection.

Seneca Markham Campus (map)
Monday, February 2, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

For more information click here.
Taking the Next Step in Transparency
Ontario Makes Mandate Letters for Parliamentary Assistants Public
For the first time, Ontario has publicly released cabinet ministers' mandate letters to their Parliamentary Assistants, which outline their role and responsibilities in helping to deliver on the government's plan.

Today's move follows the unprecedented release in September of mandate letters from Premier Kathleen Wynne to each of her ministers. The government has posted both sets of mandate letters online to show in detail how it will carry out its plan to build Ontario up. Making mandate letters available to the public is part of the Open Government initiative to share a wide array of information, so citizens can engage more with the government and become more involved in decision-making. Read more here.
Starwood Launches Mobile Keyless Entry System
It’s a mobile office. It’s a virtual wallet. It’s a lifeline. And now, it’s a hotel room key. Today, the smartphone will get a whole lot smarter – especially while on the road. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), the loyalty program from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), introduces SPG Keyless, the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smartphone as a key. Rolling out to Aloft, Element and W Hotels around the globe, SPG Keyless makes its official debut today in 10 hotels in markets including Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha. Read more here.
Canada Ranked as # 1 Country to Visit
Stellar reputation helps attract more international tourists, talent and investment to our country.

The international love affair with Canada shows no signs of cooling off. According to a new study from the Reputation Institute, Canada is the top country in the world to visit, live in, study and attend or organize events. A beautiful and enjoyable country, friendly and welcoming people, contributions to global culture and safe environment were key drivers in the rankings. Read more here.
New Innovative Program Could Take Accessible Tourism to the Next Level
A brand new accessibility program is set to hit the hotel and hospitality scene in Toronto this fall which could revolutionize the local tourism industry in Ontario. The program is called Close the GAP, where the GAP stands for Guest Accessibility Package It is a product designed to provide hotel guests with disabilities with as much information as possible about their accommodations and surrounding attractions, in a way that has never been done before. Read more here.

InnVest REIT and KingSett Capital Acquire Interest in Fairmont Royal York
Mississauga, Ont.-based InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust and Toronto-based KingSett Capital have acquired 80-per-cent interest in the Fairmont Royal York hotel. Current owner, Ivanhoé Cambridge, based in Montreal, will retain 20-per-cent interest in the property.

More specifically, KingSett will control 60-per-cent interest in the property, while InnVest will control 20-per-cent interest and become the hotel asset manager, overseeing operations alongside Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Read more here.
Concord Hospitality to Surpass 100
Concord Hospitality today announced that the company is developing its most ambitious pipeline in its 30-year history. The company has 12 hotels under construction from south Florida to New York City and is providing third-party management services for another five that also are in active construction. All 17 hotels will be managed by Concord upon opening. With the opening of these hotels, the company will surpass the century mark, 100 hotels under management, and open 12 hotels in as many months. Read more here.
August 2014 Tourism Snapshot
Please be advised that the Canadian Tourism Commission has just released the August 2014 Tourism Snapshot, click here.
Wahlburgers Toronto restaurant: a sneak preview
The sleek-surfaced restaurant, the Wahlberg brothers’ first Canadian location, is set to open on Nov. 15 in the SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. Read more here.
Current Performance Indicators August 2014
The Ministry’s Current Performance Indicators have been updated with August 2014 data. The current performance tool is available here.
Aviation Activity Report: August 2014
The August Airport Activity Report is now available here.
Improving Road Safety: Ministry of Transportation
Province Introducing New Legislation to Make Ontario’s Roads Safe
 
Ontario is introducing legislation that, if passed, would help keep the province's roads among the safest in North America by reducing collisions, injuries and fatalities. See news release here.
Toronto Ranks in Top 10 Best Cities to Visit
The results are in. Lonely Planet’s experts have decided on the best cities to visit this year. Some are criminally underrated, others are popping the champagne for special events, but these cities are all unmissable in 2015. Read more here.
Ebola Industry Update
In an effort to keep abreast of the latest resources, we are sharing with you information on Ebola, its symptoms, and the measures you can take to be better prepared.  Resources are available here, with guidance on how to identify an infected individual and what to do if you believe you may have been exposed. We also encourage you to access the materials provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has been the authoritative voice on this issue.

•    CDC on Ebola
•    CDC Ebola Q&A
•    CDC Ebola Prevention
•    The White House on its response

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also released information on general public safety, preparedness and other information, available here.

David Goldstein Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission

The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) (Agriculture), today announced the appointment of David Goldstein as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), effective December 1, 2014.

Mr. Goldstein is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), which is the only national trade association representing large and small travel and tourism enterprises. In this capacity, Mr. Goldstein was one of the key architects of the Federal Tourism Strategy with Industry Canada. Read more here.

Keeping Ontarians Safe from Carbon Monoxide
CO Alarms Now Mandatory in All Homes

Ontario is taking another step to keep families and homes in Ontario safe by making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all residential homes. Read news release here.
2014 Election: Voting information for Greater Toronto Area
Advance voting polls are now open, and Vote 2014 takes place on Monday, October 27 across the Greater Toronto Area Municipalities. Click on your city for more voting information:

New GM Appointed At Toronto’s Omni King Edward
Christophe Le Chatton has been appointed GM of Toronto’s Omni King Edward Hotel, which is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar renovation.

Le Chatton has been at the helm of luxury properties across the world, including his most recent role as GM of Cambridge, Ont.-based Langdon Hall Country House and Spa, a Relais & Châteaux property. Read more here.
Best Western announces new urban boutique hotel concept
Best Western International is launching two major new hotel development offerings – a stylish new hotel concept and a soft brand – both designed to meet growing demand for new hotel offerings in urban and primary markets. The announcement, made during the brand's 2014 North American Convention, comes as Best Western continues to see historic growth in the brand's North American and global development pipeline. Read more here.